Over the past two decades scholars in the fields of political and social philosophy have devoted much time to the subject of recognition. But what is recognition, exactly? Who (or what) can (or should) be recognized? What role does it play for individuals and society? This volume discusses these and other central questions from historical and systematic perspectives. In doing so, it helps define the framework of the discussion and advance recognition studies.
There is today a wide consensus that ‘recognition’ is something that we need a clear grasp of in order to understand the dynamics of political struggles, and, perhaps the constitution and dynamics of social reality more generally. Yet, the discussions on ‘recognition’ have so far often been conceptually rather inexplicit, in the sense that the very key concepts have remained largely unexplicated or undefined. Since the English word ‘recognition’ is far from unambiguous, it is possible, and to our mind also (...) actually the case, that different authors have meant partly different things with this word. In what follows, we will make a number of conceptual distinctions and clarificatory proposals that are meant to bring to sharper focus the field of phenomena that are being discussed under the catchword ‘recognition’. This is meant to serve a dual purpose: to suggest a number of distinctions which are of help in formulating rival views, and to propose what strikes us as the best overall position formulated in terms of those distinctions. (shrink)
This article makes several conceptual proposals for a closer analysis of recognition more or less in line with Axel Honneth's account of recognition: (1) a proposal as to the genus of recognitional attitude and recognition, (2) a sketch of an analytical scheme intended to be heuristically useful for analysing the different species of recognitional attitude and recognition, (3) some proposals as to the precise contents of self-conceptions involved in each species and subspecies of recognition, and (4) suggestions as to the (...) relation of the species of recognitional attitude to social settings and concrete personal relationships as well as to the totalities of attitudes instantiated in these settings and relationships. A guiding idea is that the somewhat mechanistic Meadian vocabulary of 'urges' and 'internalizations' of Honneth's original formulations should be replaced with formulations where recognition is consistently conceptualized as consisting of attitudes with propositional or judgmental content. (shrink)
In this article a wide range of candidates for features that are defining of personhood are conceived of as interrelated, yet irreducible, layers and dimensions of what it is to be a person in the full-fledged sense of the word. Three layers of personhood -- consisting of person-making psychological capacities, person-making interpersonal significances, and person-making institutional or deontic powers -- are distinguished. Running through the layers there are then two dimensions -- the deontic and the axiological -- corresponding to the (...) recognitive attitudes of respect and love. These recognitive attitudes of 'taking something/-one as a person' are responses to the psychological layer and directly constitutive of the interpersonal layer of the respective dimensions of personhood. The multiplicity of ways to understand what 'personhood' means is only apparently chaotic and reveals, on a closer look, a well-ordered and dynamic internal structure. (shrink)
Why is recognition of such an importance for humans? Why should lack of recognition motivate people to fight or work for recognition? In this article, I first discuss shortly Axel Honneth's psychologizing strategy for answering these questions, and suggest that the psychological harms of lack of recognition pointed out by Honneth are neither sufficient nor necessary for motivation to fight or work for recognition to arise. According to the alternative that I then spell out, recognition and lack of it are (...) so intimately intertwined with some of the most fundamental and intuitively appealing facts about what it is to be a person in a full-fledged sense — arguably in any culture — that there are reasons to be optimistic about a more or less universal existence of latent motivation to fight or work for more or more equal recognition. (shrink)
This paper is an introduction to the special issue on Pathologies of Recognition. The first subsection briefly introduces the notion of recognition and trace its development from Fichte and Hegel to Honneth and his critics, and the second subsection turns to the concept of a social pathology. The third section provides a brief look at the individual papers. -/- The special issue focuses on two central concepts in contemporary critical social theory: namely ‘recognition’ and ‘social pathology’. For defenders of a (...) theory of recognition, adequate recognition is itself a key normative criterion for analysing social wrongs and pathologies which fall short of the ideal. For critics, the focus on recognition – even at its best – rather conceals social wrongs. While the contributors in this collection represent slightly different approaches, the general consensus amongst them is that recognition as such is a good ideal but like all good ideals it can go wrong in various ways and take pathological forms itself. In this introduction we focus first briefly on the concepts of recognition and social pathology, and finally present the papers of this special issue. (shrink)
Social esteem, based on contributions the common good, or to the good of others, is an important phenomenon, and following Axel Honneth, it can be seen as an important subspecies of interpersonal recognition, side by side with respect and love. In this paper we will contrast two accounts of this phenomenon, hoping that this kind of cross-illumination will prove useful by clarifying a number of conceptual questions and options that one needs to be conscious of indiscussions about esteem as a (...) form of recognition. (shrink)
The concept of recognition has been in the center of intensive interest and debate for some time in social and political philosophy, as well as in Hegel-scholarship. The first part of the article clarifies conceptually what recognition in the relevant sense arguably is. The second part explores one possible route for arguing that the 'recognitive attitudes' of respect and love have a necessary role in the coming about of the psychological capacities distinctive of persons. More exactly, it explores the possibility (...) that they are necessary in the kind of intersubjective relationship in which normal human infants engage in the pre-linguistic communicative practice of pointing things to others, as described by Michael Tomasello. If an incapacity to participate in the already Gricean communicative practices of pointing makes it also impossible for the infant to learn symbolic communication, and if without the immediately intrinsically motivating other-regarding attitudes of recognition communicative pointing does not get off the ground, then the capacity for recognition may be a decisive difference between humans and their closest non-human relatives. That is, it may be why only human infants, but no other animals, are capable of embarking on a developmental journey that normally leads to full-fledged psychological personhood. If this is so, then the concept of recognition, today mostly discussed in social and political philosophy and Hegel-studies, could turn out to be a very useful tool in cognitive scientific work interested in specifically human forms of social intentionality, cognition, volition and so forth. (shrink)
The concept of recognition (Anerkennung in German) has been in the center of intensive interest and debate for some time in social and political philosophy, as well as in Hegel-scholarship. The first part of the article clarifies conceptually what recognition in the relevant sense arguably is. The second part explores one possible route for arguing that the „recognitive attitudes‟ of respect and love have a necessary role in the coming about of the psychological capacities distinctive of persons. More exactly, it (...) explores the possibility that they are necessary in the kind of intersubjective relationship in which normal human infants engage in the pre-linguistic communicative practice of pointing things to others, as described by Michael Tomasello. If an incapacity to participate in the already Gricean communicative practices of pointing makes it also impossible for the infant to learn symbolic communication, and if without the immediately intrinsically motivating other-regarding attitudes of recognition communicative pointing does not get off the ground (at least among the most intelligent animals currently known to exist), then the capacity for recognition may be a decisive difference between humans and their closest non-human relatives. That is, it may be why only human infants, but no other animals, are capable of embarking on a developmental journey that normally leads to full-fledged psychological personhood. If this is so, then the concept of recognition, today mostly discussed in social and political philosophy and Hegel-studies, could turn out to be a very useful tool in cognitive scientific work interested in specifically human forms of social intentionality, cognition, volition and so forth. (shrink)
What is the nature of the social reality? How do the major social institutions like money or law exist? What are the limits of individualistically-oriented social theories?These and related problems are intensely discussed in philosophy, in legal theory and in the methodology of social sciences. This collection brings together the different traditions of the contemporary discussion. It includes thought-provoking articles by John Searle, Margaret Gilbert, Ota Weinberger, Raimo Tuomela, Eerik Lagerspetz, Michael Quante, Cristina Redondo and Paolo Comanducci. -/- ”Wonderful selection (...) of articles that contribute in important ways to the growing field of social ontology... A ’must-have’ for anyone working on issues of social ontology.” Deborah Tollefsen, University of Memphis. (shrink)
Toisin kuin usein kuvitellaan, Hegel suhtautui järjestelmänsä epistemologiseen perusteluun erittäin vakavasti. Phänomenologie des Geistes’issa hän pyrkii todistamaan absoluuttisen kannan olemassaolon immanentisti ja negatiivisesti: osoittamalla vastustavien kantojen kumoavan itsensä omilla kriteereillään. Nyt suomennetussa teoksensa johdannossa Hegel tekee selväksi immanentin kritiikin välttämättömyyden ja luonnostelee sen metodin.
Recognition is one of the most debated concepts in contemporary social and political thought. Its proponents, such as Axel Honneth, hold that to be recognized by others is a basic human need that is central to forming an identity, and the denial of recognition deprives individuals and communities of something essential for their flourishing. Yet critics including Judith Butler have questioned whether recognition is implicated in structures of domination, arguing that the desire to be recognized can motivative individuals to accept (...) their assigned place in the social order by conforming to oppressive norms or obeying repressive institutions. Is there a way to break this impasse? -/- Recognition and Ambivalence brings together leading scholars in social and political philosophy to develop new perspectives on recognition and its role in social life. It begins with a debate between Honneth and Butler, the first sustained engagement between these two major thinkers on this subject. Contributions from both proponents and critics of theories of recognition further reflect upon and clarify the problems and challenges involved in theorizing the concept and its normative desirability. Together, they explore different routes toward a critical theory of recognition, departing from wholly positive or negative views to ask whether it is an essentially ambivalent phenomenon. Featuring original, systematic work in the philosophy of recognition, this book also provides a useful orientation to the key debates on this important topic. -/- Forthcoming in May 2021. (shrink)
This article begins by tracing two issues to be kept in mind in discussing the theme of love as far back as Aristotle: on the one hand the polysemy of the term philia in Aristotle, and on the other hand the fact that there is a focal or core meaning of philia that provides order to that polysemy. Secondly, it is briefly suggested that the same issues are, mutatis mutandis, central for understanding the discussion of love or Liebe by Hegel, (...) the central classic reference in debates on recognition. Thirdly, by pointing out a certain ambiguity in Harry Frankfurt’s recent work on love, the article focuses more closely on the thought that love in the simple sense which Aristotle had pinpointed as the focal meaning of philia, which is arguably at the core of Hegel’s discussion of Liebe, and which still forms at least one of the core senses of the term, is a ‘personifying’ attitude of recognition. Finally, drawing on the above points the article addresses the question whether love as a form of recognition is restricted to intimate relations such as those between family-members, ‘lovers’, close friends and so on, or whether it has applications in interhuman relations more broadly. The answer to this question, it is suggested, is essential for the viability of ethically substantial notions of solidarity beyond circles of close acquaintances, whether within the civil society, across nations, or towards future generations. (shrink)